It was an emotional night at Mullett Arena. The Arizona Coyotes played what may be the final game in franchise history. The team is set to be relocated to Salt Lake City, Utah in the coming days. Sean Durzi gave fans a moment to cherish, though. He scored an empty net goal to clinch a win over the Edmonton Oilers.

There has been no official announcement regarding the Coyotes relocation. However, the deal is close to being done. In fact, there is an NHL Board of Governors meeting set for Thursday afternoon to approve the move, according to Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman.

Coyotes give Arizona a proper send-off

The Arizona Coyotes celebrate a goal by left wing Lawson Crouse (67) during the third period against the Edmonton Oilers at Mullett Arena.
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Coyotes were eliminated from the Stanley Cup Playoffs a while ago. Still, they played with a lot of pride in the final weeks of the season. They defeated the Oilers in Edmonton last week. And Arizona defeated the Vancouver Canucks after learning the relocation was a go.

On Wednesday, their resiliency was on display once again. Liam O'Brien opened the scoring in the first period. Edmonton tied it in the opening frame, but Arizona soon took control for good. Matias Maccelli scored to give the Coyotes a 2-1 lead. In the third period, Arizona received goals from Lawson Crouse, Dylan Guenther, and Sean Durzi to seal the win.

After the game, the team received a massive standing ovation. Players saluted the crowd and tossed merch to the fans in attendance. They also paid tribute to their equipment manager who spent many years with the team prior to the news of the relocation.

Coyotes relocation to Utah

The Arizona Coyotes are relocating after years of instability in the Grand Canyon state. Multiple ownership groups failed to provide the team with an adequate, permanent arena to call home. In fact, things got so bad that the NHL had to step in and buy the team in 2009.

Things came to a head in 2021 when the city of Glendale threatened to evict the Coyotes over missed tax payments. Eventually, the city received the money owed to them. But the city had enough of the team's ownership. They decided against renewing Arizona's lease for Gila River Arena, leaving them without a permanent home.

The Coyotes avoided relocation by striking a temporary deal to play out of Mullett Arena. Arizona became a second tenant to Arizona State's men's ice hockey team. But it kept the team in the state while buying time to build a new permanent hockey arena to call home.

Last year, Coyotes ownership proposed a plan to privately fund an arena and entertainment district in Tempe. They would have cleaned up a landfill and built everything on that parcel of land. However, the public voted down the measure last summer.

This left Arizona with one last chance to figure something out. Playing out of the 4600-seat Mullett Arena was meant to be a temporary venture. Now, it was dragging out, and something had to give. As the 2023-24 season went on, though, we didn't hear much in terms of a new arena plan.

That changed at the beginning of April. Coyotes ownership announced their plans to win an auction for a plot of land in North Phoenix. They once again committed to privately funding an arena and entertainment district on this land. However, concerns over infrastructure emerged in the days following. After that, news of the team's sale to Utah Jazz owner Ryan Smith broke.

The Coyotes are likely headed to Salt Lake City in the coming days. And the ones who suffer the most are the fans who pour their hearts and souls into the franchise night in and night out. Thankfully, Sean Durzi and his teammates gave those fans one final win to cherish as they hope their team returns to the state again sometime soon.